Cuomo Announces Stay-At-Home Order, Backs Plan to Cut Medicaid

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Local News

  • Governor Cuomo has announced a stay-at-home order, which went into effect Sunday at 8 pm. The order includes:

    • A requirement for those over 70 years old to remain at home and wear a mask while around others;
    • A ban on all non-essential gatherings;
    • A rule that New Yorkers should remain home except for essential trips, like to get food or medicine;
    • A mandate for New Yorkers to remain 6 feet from other people while outside of their apartment;
    • An order for all employees at non-essential establishments begin working from home.
  • Essential businesses include most health care facilities, utilities and infrastructure entities (e.g., telecommunications, transit, and hotels), essential manufacturing (e.g., food processing, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products), essential retail (e.g., grocery stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores), and service providers for vulnerable populations, among others. 
  • Governor Cuomo has suspended mortgage payments for homeowners facing financial hardship, but has not announced a similar order for renters, who make up nearly half the state’s households. State Senator Michael Gianaris (District 12 - Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside) is working on a bill to provide similar relief for renters.
  • With confirmed cases of coronavirus continuing to rise on Rikers Island, pressure is mounting on the City to further reduce its incarcerated population. On Friday, New York City released 56 incarcerated people from Rikers Island to help stem the spread of the virus within the jail. The inmates released were all parole violators and people jailed while awaiting trial.
  • The state’s Medicaid Redesign Team, which was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to evaluate ways to reduce Medicaid spending, has backed a plan that would slash Medicaid spending to New York’s hospitals by almost $400 million.
  • The state Department of Labor has reported an unprecedented surge in unemployment claims, which are rising by almost 1,000% in some regions.
  • Despite the eviction moratorium that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week, a loophole allows for new eviction cases to be filed. Cuomo’s order suspended all current eviction cases, but did not prevent landlords from filing new cases. For now, all new cases will be suspended for 45 days, but tenants may not be aware of this and show up to court anyway.
  • Due to anticipated ridership loss during the coronavirus pandemic, the MTA is seeking a $4 billion federal bailout.
  • Due to one of Governor Cuomo’s executive orders, localities in New York may be limited in their ability to implement their own quarantine orders (such as “shelter in place”).
  • New York has lost at least 20,000 hospital beds over the last two decades due to budget cuts and insurance overhauls.
  • The state’s Medicaid Redesign Team, which was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to evaluate ways to reduce Medicaid spending, has backed a plan that would slash Medicaid spending to New York’s hospitals by almost $400 million.
  • The state Department of Labor has reported an unprecedented surge in unemployment claims, which are rising by almost 1,000% in some regions.
  • While New York City schools are closed, the city is implementing a grab-and-go meal program. Meals are available every weekday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to any child under 18, no matter what school they actually attend, be it charter, private or public. The program will initially be available at every school before switching to centralized hubs.
  • The director of New York City’s Independent Budget Office has said that the economic damage to the city from coronavirus could be worse than the effects of either 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis.

Elections

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio has cancelled the special election for Queens Borough President. The city has not announced another date.
  • Council Member Ritchie Torres (District 15 - Bedford Park, Fordham) tested positive for coronavirus.

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